Recycling of wastes is a profit oriented business; the process involves transforming unusable and discarded materials into new inevitable household or industrial mundane support. This is a key factor for modern waste management. Disused products from polyethylene such as nylon and plastics can be recycled for this good money making venture.
Waste products for recycling business can be gotten from different places including the dustbins either from homes, industries and dump sites as well as packaged water sachets and treated by removing any cello-tape, metal, sand and other impurities from them.
To start a small scale polyethylene recycling business requires at least about US$65,000 and a plot of land while up to US$325,000 is normally required to start on a larger scale. About 15 staff should be envisaged for the small scale business while between 30 and 50 workers may be needed for a large factory.
Major raw materials can also be sourced from packaged water factories and also from jobless young people who pick waste nylons and plastics from the streets and sell them to recycling factories. A standard processing enterprise for the process should have some basic machinery which must include a treatment plant, grinding machine, an extruder and a crusher depending on the intended production capacity.
A small scale recycling plant can produce an average of 2 tonnes of products per day while a large one can come out with a minimum of 5 tonnes daily. The price of the recycled materials depends on its density and for the high one; this is sold for a few cents per kilogram during the dry season and much more during the rainy season.
Low density of white semi-finished products are sold for about US$1.05 per kilogram while a tonne is sold for about US$725.00 Plastic waste materials can be converted into drinking straws, aprons, plastic covers, cups, plates, slippers, pipes, gift items, files, table mats etc….In most cases, the recycled semi-finished products are normally packaged in 25 and 40 kilogram laminated bags to avoid water penetration and there is also the possibility of other packages in accordance with the prospective buyers specification.
In Nigeria, foreigners mostly Chinese are at the forefront of this business. What they do is to buy the semi-finished materials from recycling factories and convert them to finished products this is because they have all the necessary processing machinery and equipments. From the look of things, the polythene industry will continue to remain inexhaustible while there are areas that operators are yet to exploit to the fullest.
Although many people see it as a dirty job, waste products recycling business can be a form of poverty alleviation strategy because it is quite a very profitable venture. One of the major problems confronting the business in Nigeria, however, is erratic electric power supply and provision of alternative sources is no child’s play. This is a very important area of employment creation to which the policy makers in the Ministry of Labor and Productivity should direct their energy and ensure that people, particularly the young ones and unemployed graduates are sensitized to it in order to reduce the rate of prevailing poverty in the land particularly in these days of very biting global economic meltdown.